June 21, 2013 Radio Commentary

A Wide-Open Data System

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, June 21, 2013 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim.  Georgia parents and students lost big-time when S.B. 167 failed to pass this session.  The bill sounds like just another ho-hum plan to educate children, but it’s far from that.  It’s about state-wide competencies and core curriculum, state education agencies and federal Race to the Top plans, accompanied by a data base of students’ private personal information to be shared with an unlimited number of people, agencies and organizations, world-wide.

Had it passed, S.B. 167 would have stopped the Common Core State Standards Georgia was forced to adopt to get Race to the Top grant money.  The strange thing is Common Core Standards aren’t completed, yet.  So, Georgia bought “a pig in a poke,” which could be as devastating to education as Obamacare is to healthcare.

The curriculum will be beyond parental influence and local school board control, because Common Core is a federal mandate tied to federal money.  Next Generation School data will be collected and stored on personally identifiable students, so their education and attitudinal data can be tracked throughout their lives, as required in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has NOT been ratified by the U.S. and should not influence decision-making in this state or this country. Not only are assessments linked to standards, individual education plans begin as early as pre-school to mold student attitudes and values early.  High school graduates will get a new kind of diploma that will determine who is college bound or career bound in workforce training.  That method of testing will begin in kindergarten or pre-school, so very young children in Georgia can be directed into one of 17 government-suggested career paths.

This is so serious that in April the Republican National Committee issued a resolution rejecting Common Core.  Without congressional changes to the law that protects students’ right to privacy, the administration issued new regulations that allow outside vendors to access personal data from the U.S. Department of Education.  Computer compliance programming will evaluate each student’s attitudes, learning style and personality, strengths and weaknesses to determine whether the child meets government standards for the career path he’s been assigned to.

Incidentally, WSB radio aired announcements on Thursday, June 20th to explain career paths as the best thing since sliced bread.  However, that’s debatable, depending on whether elementary, middle and high schools are supposed to train workers or educate students to the highest level of their academic ability.  Personally, I vote for academic excellence.

With Common Core Standards and its wide-open data base, we’ve turned the corner from local control of education to federal control of workforce training delivered through tax-funded schools and students are now classified as human capital to be used and spent by the federal government.  For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.